View of Sher Dor Medressa - Registan - Samarkand - Uzbekistan; Shutterstock ID 189546986; purchase_order: 65050; job: ; client: ; other:

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Sher Dor Medressa


The entrance portal of the Registan's Sher Dor (Lion) Medressa, opposite the Ulugbek Medressa and finished in 1636, is decorated with roaring felines that look like tigers but are meant to be lions. The lions, the deer they are chasing and the Mongolian-faced, Zorostrian-inspired suns rising from their backs are all unusual, flouting Islamic prohibitions against the depiction of live animals. It took 17 years to build but hasn’t held up as well as the Ulugbek Medressa, built in just three years.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Samarkand attractions

1. Registan

0.03 MILES

This ensemble of majestic, tilting medressas – a near-overload of majolica, azure mosaics and vast, well-proportioned spaces – is the centrepiece of the…

2. Tilla-Kari Medressa

0.08 MILES

On the northern side of the Registan is the Tilla-Kari (Gold-Covered) Medressa, completed in 1660, with a pleasant, gardenlike courtyard. The highlight…

3. Ulugbek Medressa

0.09 MILES

The Ulugbek Medressa, on the western side of the Registan, is the square's original medressa, finished in 1420 under Ulugbek who is said to have taught…

4. Makhdumi Khorezm Mosque

0.23 MILES

This restored Old Town gem is 100m east of the Registan. If it's locked ask the caretaker to let you in for a glimpse at the lush ceiling tilework.

5. Imon Mosque

0.32 MILES

The small, 19th-century Imon Mosque has an open porch, tall carved columns and a brightly restored ceiling. Respectfully dressed visitors are always…

6. Qoraboy Oqsoqol Mosque

0.36 MILES

The gloriously faded Qoraboy Oqsoqol Mosque is hidden down an alley just off Abu Laiz Samarkandi ko'chasi in the old Jewish Quarter of the Old Town.

7. Bibi-Khanym Mosque

0.44 MILES

The enormous congregational Bibi-Khanym Mosque, northeast of the Registan, was financed from the spoils of Timur's invasion of India and must have been…

8. Mubarak Mosque

0.48 MILES

This small neighbourhood mosque in the Old Jewish Quarter is part of a charming ensemble with a hauz (pool) and small minaret.